Born in the parish of Uig, island of Lewis, 1800. Studied at King’s College, Aberdeen. While prosecuting his studies he engaged in mission work among Highlanders in Edinburgh and Leith. In 1832 he became parish schoolmaster of Uig. Ordained, 1836, as missionary to Highlanders in Cape Breton. Owing to failing health he returned to Scotland, 1842. Married, 1843, Flora Campbell. Settled in the Free Church, Tobermory, the same year. At the request of the Colonial Committee he visited the lower Canadian provinces. Translated, 1855, to Stornoway. In 1861 Mr. M’Lean’s health failed, and he was laid aside for two years. In 1866 he went for the third time to Cape Breton and Nova Scotia to heal divisions arising out of the union of Presbyterian Churches. Died, 1868.
The Presbyterian Church was established in 1837 by a Scottish missionary, The Reverend Peter
MacLean. He was Whycocomagh’s earliest settled minister, holding his first service in an open
field. A colourful and fervent preacher, Mr. MacLean attracted large numbers of listeners. Before
completion of a new church, which was intended to replace an existing log structure, it became
apparent that it was already too small for Mr. MacLean’s growing congregation. Work then began
on the large “MacLean Church” which was completed in 1857 and could accommodate up to 1,000
parishioners. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire in 1960. A memorial to The Reverend
MacLean and Whycocomagh’s pioneers today marks the site of the “MacLean Church”.
The Lion of Lewis – Norman C. MacFarlane / The Apostles of the North